Heather Dau


Heather Dau
Surname as Student: Dau
Education: United Church Training School

Where: Maritime Conference
Denomination: United Church of Canada

  • 1960-1963: United Church Deaconess Board of Sunday School Publications
  • 1967: Withdrew voluntarily

Do YOU have a picture? If so, please contact us (see Contact and About Us)

I was designated at Maritime Conference in June 1960, (photo) along with Verna Crooks McKay and Elaine Harland Frazer. (Elaine was from Manitoba, but she’d already started work at Wilmot United Church in Fredericton so was designated with us.)

My first job was as an Editor with Sunday School Publications at United Church House in Toronto. I became the editor of the newly combined (co-ed) teenage weekly paper called Hi-Venture. It brought together The Canadian Girl and The Canadian Boy and went to 12-15 year-olds across the church. Audrey P. McKim was the editor of the weekly paper, Discovery, for 9-11 year-olds. Hi-Venture was really a 12-page magazine. 1960 was the inauguration of a 4-color Heidelberg printing press (Ryerson Press) that produced full color on coated paper. Very snazzy. The papers were part of the United Church’s New Curriculum and the editors worked on the books for their corresponding age groups.

From there, I moved into an experimental job at Berkeley Studio, also in Toronto. Berkeley had two wings, Broadcasting and the AV (audio-visual), and two audiences, beyond the church and the other inside the church. Part of the AVers’ task was to produce AV resources for the United Church Program Boards (Christian Education, Stewardship, Home Missions, etc.) Programming Boards produced their own written-word resources, which they assumed required no outside help. The program folks, however, couldn’t produce their own audio visuals so they had to collaborate with the producers of same at Berkeley. Regrettably, the two groups had trouble talking with one another, as the Program Boards chafed at how they were represented from a journalistic perspective. So my task was to become a go-between, a translator. I can’t even remember whether the job had a title. Probably not. But it worked and the Berkeley people were surprised because the head of the AV department hadn’t been able to achieve this. I was young enough to be surprised that he wasn’t thoroughly happy with my success!

I decided to leave the church’s employment in 1967. As was expected at the time, I simply wrote someone at Presbytery and asked that my name be removed. I received a very nice reply that expressed the hope that I’d “be a blessing to Concordia University” which was my next destination. It’s there that I started my first company and I have been self-employed ever since. (Click here for 1979 United Church Observer article about some of Heather’s freelance journalism.)

Written by Heather Dau, August 2012, Edited by Caryn Douglas